Last game USA women’s team played against Mexico in Mexico was a qualifier for the 2010 World Cup.
The US has lost. Mexico qualified directly for the World Cup, while the Americans were forced to qualify for the tournament through an inter-confederation playoff.
A lot has changed since then, with the US winning consecutive Women’s World Championships and Mexico struggling to lose records under three coaches. So when the teams met on Monday night in the group game final of another World Cup qualifier – CONCACAF Championship (W) – The US was expected to win with a score of 1:0.
But it wasn’t easy, with the only goal hitting Christy Mewis’ thigh after a scrum in front of the net in the last minute of regulation. The gate went through a lengthy video review before being allowed to stand.
This victory marked the 29th consecutive victory for the Americans at the CONCACAF World Championships and in Olympic qualification since the loss in Cancun in 2010. In fact, since then, the US has not conceded a single goal in qualifying.
Even before Monday’s game, which was won in front of a crowd of 20,521 at the hot and windy Estadio Universitario, the US had a ticket to the World Cup next summer. However, this year’s CONCACAF W Championship will also determine the representative of the region in Paris 2024 Olympic Gamesand in that sense, the victory was important because it would send the Americans to the semi-finals of Thursday’s tournament against Costa Rica on a wave of momentum, after 17 matches and 11 months since their last defeat.
The US needs to beat Costa Rica and then win the final next week to guarantee a place in Paris.
For Mexico, Monday’s bold effort, by far the best of the tournament, showed why the country entered the competition with high hopes. But he leaves without a win or a goal — and without a place at the 2023 World Cup or the Paris Olympics.
“It hurts,” coach Monica Vergara said in Spanish. “The players have been hit hard.”
Mexico began to fall apart in the 73rd minute when midfielder Jacqueline Ovalle received a red card for a fight with American Rose Lavelle. It took the US another 16 minutes against a short team to score the only goal needed.
It was to be the crowning glory of a Mexican program that had made great strides under Vergara, who played on the country’s only Olympic team in 2004 and then rose through the ranks coaching the under-15, under-17 and under-20 teams. over the senior team 18 months ago.
The team entered the Monterrey tournament in their best form in a decade, having gone unbeaten in their last 10 games and averaging over five goals per match. So when El Tri Femenil opened the tournament with a loss to Jamaica, Vergara called it a “hitch” and said it wouldn’t define her team. After Mexico lost to Haiti three days later, the coach who was booed before kickoff on Monday was already talking about the 2027 World Cup.
The team’s efforts on Monday were kind, as President Jon De Luisa and the rest of the Mexican Football Federation hoped last year when they began an overhaul of the women’s program, making 39-year-old Vergara the first woman to lead a senior team, handing her a young, talented a roster most of which played in the young, thriving domestic MX league rather than US colleges.
The reset continued two months ago when New York-based promoter Soccer United Marketing was recruited to set up a series of U.S. friendlies to raise money for the women’s team as well as its profile. The first game will be against Angel City FC September in Los Angeles.
“Support for the women’s program is a board decision,” De Luisa said. “There is no doubt that this is something that will grow in the future.”
That future was supposed to start this week, but Mexico performed poorly on the field and played all three games before disappointing the crowd in the city, where more than 30,000 people turned out to support the Tigres Femenil sorority.
However, on Monday he gave the best team in the world everything they could and more. Perhaps De Louise’s investment will pay off sooner rather than later.
“We must continue to support what is coming,” Vergara said. “That’s the next process.”